CAMPAIGNERS say the fight to keep delivery offices open is not over.
Battle-worn protesters are steeling themselves to fight Royal Mail to the bitter end after it announced Leigh, Shoebury, Great Wakering, Canewdon and Rochford offices would close next year.
Shoebury and Great Wakering will close in February, Leigh on March 4 and Rochford and Canewdon later in March.
Carole Mulroney, chairman of Leigh Town Council, said they will continue to make residents voices heard.
She said: “We have got a meeting set up this week (10) which was already booked before the announcement.
“I don’t see why we should give up. The office isn’t closed yet as far as I am concerned while it is still there there is still room to talk.”
The Labour Party in Rochford have also expressed their anger at Royal Mail’s decision to shut the sorting offices in Rochford and Great Wakering without asking residents about their views.
Jerry Gibson, who is standing for the party in the Rochford South ward in the Essex County Council elections, said people deserved better treatment.
He said: “There’s no consideration of what local residents want or need. Vulnerable people living in these communities the elderly and disabled, as well as businesses and those without access to transport, depend on the services at these sorting offices. Royal Mail have paid no attention to these needs - they haven’t even bothered to discuss them.”
Royal Mail spokesperson Morag Turnbull said the company was dealing with less mail and had to “modernise” its operations.
She said: “The consolidation of the five Essex delivery offices into our state-of-the-art mail processing unit in Southend will help to place the business on a sound, secure and stable footing. There will be no change to the delivery services we provide six-days a week to customers in the Southend area.
"These relocations are a commercial business decision. Royal Mail does issue information to stakeholders and all customers before any changes to our mail operation take place.
"We met with Southend to keep them informed of our plans and we have written to other stakeholders in this area. We will be writing to customers and stakeholders four to six weeks prior to any changes happening."
SOUTHEND Council has written to Royal Mail to fight for delivery offices in the borough.
All four of the council leaders, Tory Nigel Holdcroft, Lib Dem Graham Longley, Labour’s Ian Gilbert and Independent Martin Terry have joined with Chief Executive Rob Tinlin to write to company boss Moya Green.
In the strongly-worded letter, they raise concerns about traffic problems around Southend’s busy Short Street junction.
It says: “We were advised you have no plans to enlarge the customer car park. We find this unacceptable, for your customers, but also for the likely impact on the surrounding road network.
“Short Street is currently a restricted parking street and provides access to the main bus depot and, more importantly, the town’s ambulance station. Any excess demand from your customers on your car park has the the risk of illegal and potentially dangerous parking on street.
“We seek your risk assessment on this issue and your plans to avoid such circumstances.”
Royal Mail also told the council it plans to put in one extra customer desk and extra staff to try and battle the already long queues at the site.